Category Archives: friendship

Circles of Quiet Joy

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I search everywhere for a gift,
just something, something
so that I don’t show up
empty-handed.
Then I remember
the real gift cannot be given
or taken away.
The real gift
comes from
an inextinguishable source.
The real gift
doesn’t change hands,
it changes hearts.
We all have this gift,
and if we could really see it,
we wouldn’t
be running frantically to the store…
We’d sit in circles
of quiet joy,
the light of infinity
mirrored in one another’s eyes.

No Matter The Weather

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It feels like those I called friends
have withdrawn until the storm passes.
It feels like they are waiting
for me to be all smiles and sunshine again.
I have let them know the pain I’m in…
I’m sorry, they say,
I can’t imagine how difficult
this must be for you, they say.
But all the sentiments in the world
mean nothing
when they aren’t backed up
by something real.
And so I find myself asking
What is friendship anyway?
I find myself understanding
what is meant by the term
Fair weather friends.
I want to say to them
Yes, the storm will pass,
but don’t go looking for me
in the safety of the sunshine.
I’ll be miles from here,
in another land,
in another world,
a real world where
people are there for one another
no matter the weather.

A Friend to Myself

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I keep looking for someone to see me,
to be excited about being with me,
a friend who mirrors my dreams
and celebrates them
who looks into my heart
and shares a sweet connectedness.
I think I find a friend
and I get excited.
I reach out, send texts expressing my thanks,
celebrating the synchronicity
that brought us here.
I wait, full of anticipation
looking forward to the experience
of full reciprocation.
And then…
And then, static on the other end of the line.
That vulnerable feeling
of thinking I divulged too much,
reached out too much,
suffocated a budding friendship
with my over-zealous enthusiasm.
Was I too much?
Was the connection I experienced
all a dream?
These dreams were mine.
And so were the lies I told myself
about needing someone else
to show me to myself.
Back at square one,
I realize I’ll never be done
looking for a friend
if I can’t first be one to myself.

Summer Day

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A day of surprises…
a wrong turn yielded
a chance encounter with new friends
who were dancing in the park
on this fine summer day…
a walk down to the river
hot sand and cool stones
laughing and splashing
a sunburn to show for it.
Our new friends offered
food and kindness;
we accepted.
More laughter and hugs good-bye.
As we drove back home
I mused about
what true wealth really is.

Listen to This Life that is Ours

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When the redbud, radiant in her new pink gown
places her arms around the forlorn forsythia and asks
Friend, stay awhile yet,

When the saucer magnolia
cries soft pink tears that pool in the grass
and spill overflowing into the road,

When the chilly wind stirs the wisteria
and frees the cherry blossoms
from their distant perch

When winter’s icy fingers still clutch
at the robes of the Goddess Spring
who longs to break free of the chains
and dance in the warmth of awakening–

When the green mist of rebirth
splashes the forest with promises
of incalculable abundance

Then, friend,
then let us go by the river
and listen to this life that is ours.

 

The Powerful Breath

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The Yoga teacher was stressed out.

Friday night I found myself in a bit of a tizzy as I was driving to work. I noticed I was feeling pretty tense, stressed out, and it wasn’t at all what I was wanting to feel as I was heading to teach a yoga class. Then I remembered the nine part breath which involves alternate nostril breathing with visualizations, and I gave it a go.

The Nine Part Breath

The first three breaths, you visualize breathing in light into your body through the right nostril, and through the left you exhale any attachment or desire toward any specific person, place, thing, event, outcome, experience, mental or emotional state.

The second set of three breaths, you breathe light into your body through the left nostril, and through the right you exhale anger, resentment, and frustration.

The last set of three breaths, you inhale light into your body through both nostrils, and exhale through both again, letting go of greed, pride, confusion, guilt, pain, shame, regret, procrastination, hesitation, feelings of insecurity, the need to compare yourself with others, any insecurities, etc., basically anything you can let go of to make more room for your authentic self to shine.

Relaxing into being

I realized just part way into the second set of breaths that I was feeling expansive, light, calm, deeply focused…and grateful. My attention had completely shifted, and I was no longer focusing on the traffic but instead was noticing the tingle of aliveness in my body, the relief of a full breath in and a complete breath out.

And this is why I teach yoga.

It was another epiphanic moment. Yes, I told myself, this is why I teach. Because I can feel in the very core of myself that I have everything I need to be happy, to be peaceful, to help and to heal in this moment, and I want to share what I know with others so that I can assist them in awakening to their happiness, peace, generosity, caring. To watch myself shift from a stressed out tension ball to someone who could feel joy and gratitude coursing through her–and just in a matter of minutes–it felt so empowering! I chose to relax. I chose to breathe. And I’m so glad I did.

You try it!

The power is in your hands.  Next time you become aware of unnecessary tension in your body or stressful thoughts in your mind, just try some very slow, deep breaths; you don’t have to do any fancy alternate nostril breathing if you don’t feel like it. Simply try to direct your awareness from whatever problem or challenge you are experiencing, and instead become exquisitely aware of what you’re feeling in your body as you breathe in and out. It’s an incredible gift to yourself to reclaim the mental energy you were sending into the past and into the future so that you can enjoy life fully right now.  It’s  wonderful to recognize and tap into your inherent wholeness in this moment–just your presence will inspire others to awaken to their source of inner peace.

So go get ’em tigers!  Go out into your lives and breathe mindfully, and shine the light of your awareness into this whole universe.

A Community of Light Bearers

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Light Bearers

Today seems really special for some reason.  It could be the slight chill in the air that hints autumn is on its way, or the quality of the light as I drove my daughter to preschool this morning.  It could be the receptivity of my students this morning who were willing to try out the Tibetan yoga techniques I learned this past weekend.  Maybe it’s the fact that I had a nice mother-daughter lunch and then came home to my hubby putting the ingredients for chili in a slow cooker, and noticing how he had grocery shopped, cleaned and organized the house while we were out.  Maybe it is grace, pure and simple, revealing to me once again how the little things in each moment fuse together one by one to make up the beautiful patchwork quilt of our lives–so many colors and textures, such blessing and a joy to behold.

Whatever it is, it feels good and I am grateful.  When I logged in to my blog this afternoon and discovered that some dear souls had left comments for me, it really did feel like a wonderful gift.  “Wow,” I thought to myself, “they took the time to write that.  For ME!  They actually read my words and now they’re sharing.  This is beautiful!”

And then it occurred to me how those who read and respond to my posts do so because in some way these words resonate with them.  It might seem like this goes without saying, but upon further exploration of this idea, I realize that I’m calling into my life people who also do the work of looking inwards, who are searching for deeper meaning in their lives, who see the divine in the simple things, who practice lovingkindness in the world around them.

I’ve been wondering for a good portion of my adult life who my tribe is.  Surely I’ve been able to flow into and out of social situations, but I have never really felt like I was part of a cohesive group of like-minded people.  And oh how I have wanted to be a part of a tribe!  Something larger than myself, a support network whose power is far greater than the sum of its parts, creating synergy that makes the impossible possible.

One of my deepest dreams for some time now is to belong to a community of light-bearers.  People who consciously carry their gifts into the world and do what they love in service of others.  Massage therapists, meditation teachers, reiki practitioners, acupuncturists, nutritionists, yoga teachers, homeopathic and holistic doctors, artists, writers, musicians, dancers, shamans, botanists, psychotherapists, feng shui experts, scholars, life coaches–in my dream community, such people would exist in close proximity, and each day would be about healing, working with joy, creating a sustainable way of life for ourselves and the planet.  Glowing with health inside and out, each day would be a celebration of our own unique talents and abilities that we would gratefully share with others.

“Well gee,” I said to myself, as I pondered the community of writers I have met through my blog, “here is my tribe!  Here is the community of light bearers I have been searching for. Here are friends who show up and celebrate with me the beauty that exists in the here and now.  Here are friends who are offering hope and light and laughter with their words.”  It’s as though I was staring at the solution all along and never seeing it, because I was expecting it to arrive in a certain form.  And now that I’m looking straight at it, I’m wondering why I didn’t see it in the first place.

Anyway, all of this to say, thank you to all of you who show up with yourselves, your whole selves, and share your essence with this world.  Each word, each image is a blessing.  I am thankful to be a part of this community, thankful that there are friends out there who understand what I’m trying to say and who unabashedly jump out on the limb with me.

Now who wants to join in constructing a little village for all of us, so that we may regularly sit together with a cup of tea and share and dance and sing and create just for the joy of it?